No. 13 Illinois tops No. 10 Gonzaga
No. 14 Illinois 85, No. 10 Gonzaga 74: Brandon Paul scored a season-high 35 points, including five 3-pointers, as the Illini remained unbeaten by ending the Bulldogs’ 17-game home winning streak.
Paul’s three-point play put the Illini ahead 78-71 with 2:29 remaining, and Tracy Abrams followed by hitting two free throws to extend the lead to nine. Abrams had 14 points and D.J. Richardson added 11 for the Illini, who won their third straight against Gonzaga.
Kelly Olynyk paced the Bulldogs (9-1) with 16 points and eight rebounds and Elias Harris had 15 points and seven boards. Gonzaga lost for just the eighth time in 118 games at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
Paul was 10-for-16 shooting, including 5-for-9 from 3-point range and 10-for-11 from the foul line, and came within eight points of his career high of 43 set against Ohio State on Jan. 10, 2012. Paul added four rebounds and three assists.
Gary Bell, Jr. and Kevin Pangos combined for 22 points on 6-for-20 shooting for Gonzaga, which held a 27-24 rebounding edge. The Bulldogs shot 27.8 percent (5-of-18) from 3-point range, compared to 42.3 percent (11-of-26) for Illinois.
GAME NOTEBOOK: The Bulldogs have dropped five straight home games against ranked, non-conference opponents dating to Dec. 9, 2006. … Gonzaga shot 61 percent in the first half, which ended with the teams tied at 41 …Illinois big men Nnanna Egwu and Tyler Griffey fouled out.